The portrayal of Women in Magazines and Women’s Perception of Beauty

The portrayal of Women in Magazines and Women’s Perception of Beauty

The ideal beauty is a subject that remains contentious for women. Admittedly, no idea of beauty has remained permanent due to popular culture and changing perceptions. Chief among the influencers of beauty are magazines. Magazines sell the notion that women globally share a similar concern of beauty, particularly its physical manifestation. With their glossy covers, endless makeup tips, and suggestions to alter appearances, magazines determine women’s attitude towards beauty. The publications detail what a beautiful woman should look like, and how to go about attaining the perfect image. Research finds that magazines change the perception that beauty should be skin-deep, and argue that a woman is more at ease with herself if her outlook is perfect (Moeran, 2015). It is worth noting that most magazines are funded by cosmetic companies, which use these platforms to illustrate why women need to be physically perfect. In fact, women go to extremes to attain the perfect body even at the expense of their health. For instance, health magazines, which feature slim and fit women seem to idealize the notion that being thin is the ideal size that all women should aspire to have (Swiatkowski, 2016). Thus, women who do not fit that category end up being stressed and feel inadequate. Correspondingly, these publications offer solutions like intensive make up use, diets or cosmetic surgery. Those who cannot afford this solution feel depressed or turn to dangerous means to attain the look. Given the wide readership of magazines among women, these publications influence women’s perception of beauty.

I plan to examine the role that magazines play on women’s perception of what beauty entails.

Research Plan

  1. Review literature to understand the relationship between magazines and women’s idea of beautiful.
  2. Learn more about survey research, which is a technique I find appropriate for completing my research given my research variables.
  3. Determine the variables of the research.
  4. Establish the feasibility of my research through my choice of participants.
  5. Ascertain the analysis techniques that will be used in the research.


Research finds that magazines, through models, and celebrities impose beauty standards. Women globally are told that attractiveness and beauty should be the main focus of women (Yan & Bissell, 2014). It was found that women internalized these ideals and constantly looked out for publications to learn tips to enhance their appearance (Mills, Shannon, & Hogue, 2017). In effect, women disband with their traditional and cultural beauty ideal and use cosmetics to gain perfection. In view of these findings, the study aims to uncover the relationship between magazine readership and perception of beauty among women.

Further, my research will highlight how women feel when they fail to meet the standards presented in the magazines. Notably, magazines have been accused of setting health, beauty, and happiness goals that are beyond the reach of women (Kiupers, 2016). It is established that some eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can be linked to the slim ideal that magazines enforce. It is for this reason that it is imperative to understand the adverse effects that the magazines have on women’s wellbeing.


Kuipers, G. (2016). Gender models: changing representations and intersecting roles in Dutch and Italian fashion magazines, 1982–2011. Journal of gender studies, 26 (6),

Mills, J., Shannon, A., & Hogue, J. (2017). Beauty, Body Image, and the Media. Perception of Beauty,

Morean, B. (2015). The Portrayal of Beauty in Women’s Fashion Magazines. The Journal of Dress Body and Culture, 14 (4),’s_Fashion_Magazines

Swiatkowski, P. (2016). Magazine influence on body dissatisfaction: Fashion vs. health?. Cogent Social Sciences, 2 (1),

Yan, Y. & Bissell, K. (2014). The Globalization of beauty: How is ideal beauty influenced by globally published fashion and beauty magazines? Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 43 (3),